February 23, 2016
From: Reddit AMA
Do you feel you have “slowed down” at all over the years? How do you feel about nootropics or other potential solutions for maintaining or even improving cognitive function?
So far, I’m happy to say that I feel like I’m speeding up rather than slowing down. I’ve progressively learned more and more over the years about how to figure things out, and how to get things done. It probably helps that I have a pretty good memory, so in a first approximation I remember everything I’ve ever learned. (I was pretty pleased in the last few days writing a blog post about General Relativity etc. https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2016/02/black-hole-tech that I could actually remember all those details that I hadn’t thought about in 30 years…) It also helps that over the years I’ve ended up learning lots of different fields. It gets easier to learn a new field after you’ve learned lots of others, and many of the good ways I have of thinking about things come from taking methods from one field and applying them to others.
As far as physiological ways to affect cognitive function: well, in my 40s I finally realized that it’s actually useful to take exercise … and so I started doing my work for the first two hours of each day walking on a treadmill with a computer. (It’s always good to schedule meetings that might be frustrating then, because if I get frustrated, I just have to speed up on the treadmill 🙂 ) I think the closest I get to anything nootropic is eating chocolate.